New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee said the government sent a “unique and bold signal” to South Asia and the world by inviting the SAARC leaders to the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi May 26, and that it was indicative of the government’s determination to build a “strong and interlinked neighbourhood”.
The president said the government was grateful to the SAARC leaders for accepting the invite at short notice and their participation at the swearing-in ceremony “added sheen to the ceremony and also represented a celebration of democracy in the region and convergence of our shared hopes and aspirations”.
He said the government would work together with South Asian leaders to revitalise the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) “as an effective instrument for regional cooperation and as a united voice on global issues”.
But India would “never shy away from raising issues of concern to us at a bilateral level”.
“The future of shared prosperity can only be built on the foundation of stability in the region, which requires sensitivity to security concerns and an end to export of terrorism to neighbours”, the president said in an oblique reference to Pakistan.